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Tell us your views on the working definition of recovery from mental and substance use disorders. What do you like about the definition, and what changes do you suggest?

Children, Families and the Recovery Definition's Guiding Principles

Recommended Definition -- Recovery From Mental and Substance Use Disorders is a process of personal, relational and family healing that includes each striving to achieve their full potential and reconciliation.

Sis Wenger
National Association for Children of Alcoholics

Over 30 years ago mental health clinicians – social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and marriage and family counselors – began to name what they were seeing clinically: children with behavioral and mental health problems, teens who were depressed and suicidal, and adults with anxiety and relationship disorders, depression, and many with what is now called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The ratio of persons being treated for these issues who identified as having an alcoholic parent was dramatically disproportionate to the general population. An increasingly clear correlation between these presenting problems and growing up in a family impacted by an addicted parent motivated the creation of a movement in the mental health and addiction prevention and treatment worlds, which culminated in the creation of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) Al-Anon, Alateen, family programs in treatment centers, and support groups in student assistance programs. These programs developed for one reason: Children and families living with the addiction of a loved one are profoundly impacted -- developmentally, emotionally, and interpersonally -- and all must be part of the recovery paradigm – or the “recovery” is narrow, not complete, and sets the family up not to stop the familial transmission of the disease, whether a mental health disorder or addiction.
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The psychic and sometimes physical health damage to impacted children and family members living with a loved one suffering from a mental health or addictive disorder – especially -- especially a parent -- requires healing and recovery support as do the persons afflicted with these disorders. This crucial point is ignored in the proposed definition of recovery from mental health or substance use disorders. The science is clear; the clinical research is clear; the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is clear. All affirm what the clinical world saw over 30 years ago – that children and families also need to recover from the effects of addiction. Yet, this overwhelming and growing evidence appears to be ignored in the proposed definition of recovery and in the four guiding principles for this definition.

Recovery From Mental and Substance Use Disorders: A process of personal, relational and family healing that includes each striving to achieve their full potential.

Recovery From Mental and Substance Use Disorders: A process of personal, relational and family healing that includes each striving to achieve their full potential.

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    Sis WengerSis Wenger shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

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